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Jessica Jean Myers
Growing up in the projects off of 8-Mile Road in Detroit, my mother prayed for one thing — not for an end to poverty, not for the safety of her siblings, not even for racial equality being a part of the primary integrated class in her high school. The one thing she prayed for was “long hair like Betty.” Mom’s friend Betty was a light-skinned girl with soft locks that cascaded past her shoulders like a chocolate waterfall. My mother would pull at her own nappy roots with the hope that they’d at some point grow out and make her pretty and “passable” like her friend.
Years later she met Remy Virgin Indian Body Wave Hair 4pcs/pack Human Extensions Natural Color my father. He was smart and successful, a doctor from Chicago who also happened to be white. So when I was born with a caramel hue and a head filled with dark, wavy hair, my mother proclaimed, “My prayers were answered. You got the long hair like Betty.”
Mom would rake through my hair each morning and pull it into poofy pigtails tied off with plastic barrettes. My friends at my 98 percent white elementary school thought they were fun to play with and so did I until the day my barrette burst open and my uncontrollable afro escaped. The teachers began to panic. They’d no idea the right way to tame my explosive mane so that they let me run free like Buckwheat for the rest of the day. You’ll be able to imagine my mother’s horror when she came to choose up her perfect little doll and located a wild child instead.
Eventually I began to embrace that my hair and roots were neither white nor black. Combing my curls into uncontrollable frizz no longer appealed to me and that i began to style my hair with gel, which allowed them to shine. Yet I still felt burdened by the promise I’d made to my mother to protect her greatest asset, my hair. I couldn’t cut it, relax it, or otherwise damage it in any way. This hair was on loan to me from God.
I began to embrace my curls and see them as beautiful although I had developed the concept men preferred hair they might run their fingers through I ended up meeting and marrying a guy who loved me exactly the way in which I used to be.
From then on, every time I appeared on camera I made sure that I straightened my curls within an inch of their lives and suddenly, the best way people spoke of me changed. I human hair extensions 24 inch clip used to be now not “cute,” but I became “sexy.” It horrified me to have my lifelong fears confirmed. If I succumbed to the mold of what others found beautiful with long, straight, touchable hair, I could finally be pretty.
I need to scream and yell from the rooftops that it’s not true. I am the identical beautiful person it doesn’t matter what the texture of my hair is like. When the women I coach ask me if they can be more attractive in the event that they wore their hair straight instead of natural I want to say, “Of course not. Wear your hair any way you want and if you feel good, you will look good.” But I fear that I can be lying to them.
I yearn for the day that a black woman can walk into a boardroom along with her head bald or “kinky” or big and bold and be taken as seriously as her colleagues. I desperately want to tell the women they may attract their perfect mate without the weave and relaxer. I pray that in the future all hair textures will probably be treated equal. Yet for now, my life experiences have taught me otherwise. So until that day arrives, I’m coming out with hot combs blazing.